Musician Steve Winwood turns 70

Working on a new solo album, Steve Winwood called in Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi to help.

I own this album: “Winwood is the first compilation album of music featuring Steve Winwood. This two-record set was issued in 1971 by United Artists Records and features music which Winwood performed with The Spencer Davis Group, Powerhouse, Traffic and Blind Faith.”

And I loved it, a great overview of his career up to that point. Alas, “Issued without Winwood’s authorization…, it was taken off the market after legal action by Winwood and Island Records.”

Winwood joined the Spencer Davis Group at the age of 14, after playing at pubs with his father and his brother Muff as early as eight, “the piano… turned with its back to the audience to try and hide him.”

“Winwood met drummer Jim Capaldi, guitarist Dave Mason, and multi-instrumentalist Chris Wood when they jammed together at The Elbow Room, a club in Aston, Birmingham. After Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group in April 1967, the quartet formed Traffic.”

He was part of a couple supergroups, Blind Faith in 1969 with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech, then Ginger Baker’s Air Force, with Grech, Denny Laine, and others. Working on a new solo album, Winwood called in Wood and Capaldi to help, which led to Traffic’s comeback album John Barleycorn Must Die in 1970.

After a few more Traffic albums, Steve Winwood became a solo artist and had greater success. Some favorite songs- links to all. Chart action refers to US Billboard pop charts.

Spencer Davis Group:

Keep On Running (#76 in 1966)- one of my favorite songs EVER, for its bottom; I hear it when I’m riding the stationary bike, even when it’s not playing
Gimme Some Lovin’ (#7 in 1967)
I’m A Man (#10 in 1967)
Can’t Get Enough of It
Somebody Help Me (#47 in 1967)

Paper Sun (#94 in 1967)
Heaven Is In Your Mind – heard the cover version by Three Dog Night before the original.
Dear Mr. Fantasy
Smiling Phases – heard the cover version by Blood Sweat & Tears before the original
Medicated Goo – my favorite Traffic song. I own the single, the one with the dead stop, which I prefer to the album version

Blind Faith:
Can’t Find My Way Home
Sea of Joy

Freedom Rider
Empty Pages (#74 in 1970)
Stranger to Himself
John Barleycorn (Must Die)
Every Mother’s Son
The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys

Steve Winwood solo:
While You See a Chance (#7 in 1981)
Arc of a Diver (#48 in 1981)
Spanish Dancer
Night Train (#104 in 1981)
Valerie (#70 in 1982)
Higher Love (#1 in 1986), with Chaka Khan, won the Grammy Award for “Record of the Year”; you may have heard James Vincent Mc Morrow’s version in a recent car commercial
Freedom Overspill (#20 in 1986)
Back in the High Life Again, with James Taylor (#13 in 1987)